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Curb Appall

By House*Tweaking on Sep 18, 2012

Truth: It’s Tuesday. I’m a day behind on Honest Mondays this week. It could have something to do with this.

The underground internet cable was disconnected for obvious reasons.

Truth: We hired someone to excavate our yard. Specifically, we hired someone to pull out all the old stumps and roots remaining from numerous trees we had cut down shortly after we bought the Underdog. The excavator also removed a few random shrubs and a termite-damaged redbud. Then he leveled out the entire yard to help rainwater run away from the house. We’ve never had a problem with water pooling around the house but we all know that keeping as much water away from the foundation is the best possible scenario.

We decided to hire out for this project because of plain ol’ time. HH is itching to get the yard in shape and we’re planning to reseed this fall. HH has a buh-zillion work trips coming up. He just emailed me his itinerary for the next three months. At the end, it said “see you at Christmas.”

We got several quotes for the job and one guy completely underbid. We picked him. Not that I would always recommend going with the cheapest estimate but this time it worked out. The young guy said he was just starting out and looking to get some jobs right away. He thought he had overbid a few bids before us and lost the jobs, so decided to play it safe and underbid ours. Works for us.

He was a little flaky about showing up when he said he would {who starts their work day at 2:00 p.m.??} but when he worked he did a great job. We’re happy with how it turned out. Before I share the dirty, muddy afters later this week {someone following me on Instagram got it right when they said “it gets worse before it gets better”}, let’s take a look at what we’re starting with.

Other than the metal roof, there’s no curb appeal going on here. In fact, I would venture to call it curb appall if you’ll allow me to be grammatically incorrect.

Do you like how the one spiky shrub hides the hose reel? Classy.

We have plans to conceal the cable satellite. My feelings towards the satellite are similar to my feelings towards surround sound. Maybe that will be next Monday’s honest post.

The driveway is in horrendous shape. HH wants to replace the blacktop with concrete but that’s not happening this year.

The garage door isn’t much better. The paint is peeling. It works though, so we’ll probably clean it up, paint it {gray like the roof?} and live with it a while before we replace it. It’s hard to tell but the second row of rectangles from the top are actually windows that the previous owner painted over. And I have no idea what that weird vinyl soffit thingy is at the top. All the houses in our neighborhood have it.

All the hardscaping – which really only includes a sidewalk to the front door and a small back patio – is uneven and cracked from old tree roots. They’re tripping hazards. We’re hoping to install a new front walk of large concrete pads surrounded by river rock.

Where the sidewalk ends. Literally. You can’t go in the front door. The jamb is crooked so the screen door is nearly impossible to open. Talk about curb appeal! {Don’t mind the heart. I added it to cover up our house number.} We’re thinking of reusing the original front door and painting it a moody gray then adding a storm door in front of it painted a bright pop of color – maybe fire engine red or sunshine yellow. We want to add large modern house numbers too.

This planter outside the picture window is begging for termites. Our first thought was to rip it out but, upon further inspection, it’s tarred to the house and would leave an ugly scar. So now we’re brainstorming a way to turn it into a bench.

The backyard is just as bad as the front. Up until last week, there was a ginormous yellow jacket nest back there. We’ve completely avoided the backyard all summer. That’s sad. We’re backyard people.

The plan here is to rip out the old patio and install hardscaping that encompasses both sets of french doors – off the mudroom and off the kitchen. We’re hoping for a patio-low deck combo. We want alfresco areas for food prep, dining and lounging.

So that’s the outdoor tour. It will be a good day when we don’t describe our home as “the crack house with the metal roof.”

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

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